Charges: Man who threw boy over MOA balcony had 'planned to kill someone' that day

He said he'd been coming to the mall for years to talk to women, but became aggressive when they rejected him.
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Emmanuel Aranda

The man charged with the attempted murder of a 5-year-old boy at the Mall of America had "planned to kill someone" on Friday.

According to a criminal complaint filed Monday, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, had gone to the mall on Thursday with the intention of killing someone, but it didn't "work out."

He then returned on Friday and he said he planned to kill an adult "because they usually stand near the balcony ... but he chose the victim [the boy] instead," throwing him from the third floor balcony outside the Rainforest Cafe.

It's not clear what made him choose the boy.

The boy's mother told police she had been outside cafe with her son, a friend and her friend's child when Aranda approached, and "came very close to them."

The mother asked if they were in the way and should move when "without warning," Aranda picked the boy up and threw him from the balcony.

Speaking to police, Aranda said that he had been coming to the mall for several years in an effort to talk to women, "but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and be aggressive."

Aranda had previously been banned from the mall in 2015 after throwing water in a woman's face and destroying property.

Video from the MOA showed him walking in the mall on the third floor and looking over the balcony several times before approaching the boy and his mother.

The boy is in a critical condition in Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

Aranda has been charged with first-degree premeditated attempted murder, which can carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

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